The Red Pill



I’m truly thrilled that The Red Pill, the documentary from Cassie Jaye about her “journey” from being a feminist to not being a feminist via the Men’s Rights movement, has received an 8.7 on IMDB and a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Honestly, I am. It means people are opening their eyes and starting to listen to something other than the mainstream, “women is so oppressed” narrative.

But let’s be honest here; unless you’re an anorexic, nerdy sissy boy, who only hung out with kinda cute, glasses wearing hipster gurlz, the ones that LOVED being your friend, but made you wonder why YOU’RE always being friend-zoned in favor of guys with a fraction of your intelligence, and THEN made you feel GUILTY for complaining about it, there is nothing particularly groundbreaking about The Red Pill. The movie treats feminism as if it’s the main problem in our society, rather than one of the many weapons used by the cultural Marxist and globalist beast to try to destroy Western civilization; in fact, the notion that it could even BE a left/right, or rather globalist/anti-globalist issue, isn’t even touched upon. I’ve never considered myself a Men’s Rights activist. Many of the figureheads in the men’s movement don’t even see it as a left/right issue. I’ve actually known many “anti-feminist” men who don’t realize that feminism IS a form of leftism, and that supporting anyone on the left IS supporting the very ideology they say they’re against. Or to put it more succinctly, A Voice for Men editor Dean Esmay’s support for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 election is tantamount to a civil rights leader in the 1960s supporting George Wallace.

There is a segment that lasts all of one minute – among 120 of them – that addresses how, in the 60s, the equality warriors switched their target from capitalism to patriarchy, but it’s so dinky, that one wonders why Jaye even bothered putting it in the movie in the first place.

But if we’re going to REALLY be addressing the elephants in the room, and if above all else, film is a visual medium, where the images are intended to elicit a reaction, it’s actually kind of infuriating watching shots of the cutie Cassie Jaye, who resembles a plumper, rounder Christina Applegate – don’t worry, Cassie, I wouldn’t make you lose 15 lbs. to have a seat on MY casting couch – interviewing pathetic looking, depressing old men, as they tell their stories about losing everything to a system that’s stacked against them.  I mean, JUST THE FACT that she’s IN the frame with them getting all misty eyed, listening to them talk about how they got royally screwed, while not addressing how incredibly privileged she is in our society by being blessed with hotness, struck me as painfully disingenuous. I mean, sheeyit, lady, you may be a narcissist, but do you have to make it that obvious? But who knows? Maybe this will lead to other women joining in an anti-feminist insurrection.

In The Red Pill, Jaye interviews key figures in the Men’s Rights movement; honestly the only ones I recognized were Paul Elam, Dean Esmay and Karen Straughan; I’m too lazy to look up the rest of ’em. One of them was a 60s male feminist, but changed tracks when he realized all that “freedom” women achieved by tossing off the “shackles” of their normal, middle class lives in favor of becoming spinsters and cat ladies didn’t provide the satisfaction they once imagined it would. But basically, we learn about all of the typical men’s rights talking points; women who trick men by not taking their birth control and enslaving them to a life of child support payments; men who see their coffers depleted in custody battles only to get to see their kids a couple hours a week; female on male spousal abuse not being taken seriously; male rape not being taken seriously; lighter prison sentences for women for the same crimes men committed; men working life threatening jobs to provide for their families only to be told they’re oppressing women; the male/female wage gap myth; and of course there’s a bit of male circumcision thrown in at the end for all the mondo fans. Don’t tell the Jews, though; they may get this movie shut down in your town (psst, I’m allowed to say that because I am one)!!!

We’re also given the counterpoints to these arguments from some harpy at Ms. magazine, some gay Jewish guy and of course the loud, shrill and obnoxious Big Red, who kinda resembles my former friend Sarah.

But another thing that bothered me about the movie is that it didn’t really address how feminism negatively affects women. Maybe Cassie Jaye hasn’t learned about hypergamy yet or that the only things feminism really accomplished was making it easier for men to get laid since it made women sluttier, while boosting the sales for antidepressants and keeping pet store owners in business. At VERY least, Jaye addresses that getting catcalled and having to look pretty (aww, poor baby) don’t really seem to be that big of problems in comparison with getting crushed to death in a coal mine avalanche, getting blown to bits on a battle field or having your life savings drained. And hey, in about 20 years, once the flesh starts to sag and wrinkles start to show, she won’t even HAVE to worry about getting catcalled.

A decade ago, when I was at Grand Valley State University, I picked up a book from the women’s center called Transforming a Rape Culture. At the time, I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen, and most people balked at the suggestion that all men are rapists or predisposed to commit rape. Also, apparently it wasn’t considered “oppressive” to refer to slutty women as sluts; it was just honest. In fact, I LOVE sluts! They put out the quickest, and thanks to all that female empowerment, they’re not just damaged women with daddy issues! All of this was before Obama was even President. A lot has changed since then. Men can now put on dresses and call themselves women; women who get gang-banged by twenty dudes are considered “empowered”; men who ask women on dates can be accused of sexual assault; man, has society progressed! Thank you Cassie Jaye for setting the clock back about ten years.

SavageHippie’s Top Ten Worst Films of All Time


Note: I’m no longer in L.A.  The rest of article remains the same.

I’m still in L.A. and I’m trying to figure out how to get to the Museum of Death, but, in the meantime, since I am in the home of the American film industry, I decided to list off the ten absolute worst films of all time.  Now, I watch a lot of movies that would be considered “bad” by normal person metrics; exploitation, Eurotrash, old horror, the entire Something Weird filmography, so my threshold is different from most people’s.

That means that, for me to consider a movie legitimately bad, it has to actively offend me.  In that way, I’m no different from Roger Ebert  or Gene Siskel, who award “zero stars” to films which are not “bad” in the traditional way, but offend whatever moral code they prescribe to.  Of course their ideas of morality and justice are different from mine in a lot of ways, so I’ve actually enjoyed many of their “zero star” films, among which include the mondo Africa addio, the futuristic race car splatter classic Death Race 2000, the rape/revenge flick I Spit on Your Grave and the Bob Guccioni produced Caligula.  Hell, Quentin Tarantino said rather enthusiastically that one of their “zero star” films, the slavery drama Mandingo, is the only exploitation flick ever produced by a major Hollywood studio.  And you best believe that Taraninto’s inclusion of Mandingo fighters in Django Unchained had little to do with attempting to be historically accurate and more to do with paying homage to the 1975 film.

So, what are MY “zero star” films?  What films are so stupid, awful and offensive that I would award them a grade of zero if I were to write film reviews for a major newspaper?  Read on and see!

10.) Crash (2005)

Not to be confused with David Cronenberg’s 1996 film of the same name, which is about sex and car crashes and based upon a work by J.G. Ballard, the 2005 film, which was directed by Paul Haggis, is one of the most idiotic, pedantic and in your face treatises ’bout dat racism.

It’s hard for me not to like a movie where a big time rapper says, “dawg, there’s a dead Chinaman under your car”, but somehow, this movie managed to elicit that response.  It’s just an Altman-esque pastiche of interweaving stories, all of which involve major Hollywood actors yelling lines where they say a bunch of generic “racist” stereotypes.  There is almost no real acting involved in any of it and the stories are so damn stupid and predictable, that you wonder if this wasn’t intended to be a made for TV special.  For instance, Matt Dillon plays a racist cop, who then saves a black woman.  Why is he racist?  He just is, ya know.  Did saving the black woman’s life make him un-racist?  I dunno, maybe.

9.) Dead Man Walking (1995)

This two hour anti-capital punishment propaganda film was directed by Tim Robbins and stars Sean Penn and big boobed commie pinko, Susan Sarandon.  Sarandon is the nun and tries to comfort Sean Penn, who is a neo-Nazi about to be killed on death row for murdering someone.  At first you think Penn is a bad guy because he killed someone, but then you realize he’s also a human being, so he deserves sympathy.  Sarandon tries to drag this sympathy out of the victim’s family.  Why would she do such an obviously inappropriate thing?  I dunno, because he’s got blood and veins and eyeballs and bones and feet and hands and skin.  Oh and he said he’s cool with Martin Luther King, Jr., so he can’t be all bad.

8.) Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

It’s hard for me to really hate this movie since it’s pretty entertaining, but the message from antiquated, ’60s liberal Stanley Kramer is so dumb and obvious, that I feel the movie doesn’t have a right to be so fun to watch.  Sidney Poitier is a black doctor who wants to marry a white woman played by Katherine Houghton.  Houghton’s San Francisco dwelling, liberal parents, Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, are challenged by the notion of their white daughter marrying a black man.

Eventually everything works out, but what’s really grating is the notion that the only challenge the movie presents is skin color, which the white liberal family (and, to some extent, the black family) needed to “overcome”; their fairy tale narrative involves a woman marrying a doctor, not say, a member of the a Black Panthers.  And while, I’m not saying every black person is a member of the Black Panthers or is some kind of shifty, shady character who whites distrust, I am saying that I highly doubt liberal parents care THAT MUCH about skin color and skin color alone, with something like the Watts or Detroit riots fresh on their minds.  Be honest here; is the black/white divide based purely on skin pigmentation and on one group of people simply not liking the other because of it?  Is that REALLY the issue here?  Who knows; maybe it was more relevant then and parents really did say, “you’re bringing home a b-b-black?!”

7.) Forrest Gump (1994)

I have a feeling the lovable retard, Forrest Gump, as portrayed by Tom Hanks, is really supposed to be the everyman.  Don’t think for yourself, just let yourself be guided through life and everything will work out fine.  On the other hand, if you do think for yourself, you will die of AIDS.  Nowadays, given our modern zeitgeist, Forrest Gump might be remade with the roles of Gump and Jenny switched.

6.) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Considered an all time classic of American cinema, in which quiver-voiced James Stewart stands in front of the evil, mean-spirited, probably Republican senate for twenty hours and doesn’t back down until they decide to build a camp for boys.  What the camp is for, I’d rather not guess.  Apparently not wanting to spend tax payer dollars on this camp rather than a dam is what is considered “political corruption” by the standards of even then liberal Hollywood.  I’m not a huge James Stewart fan; I often times find him to be more annoying than charming, but he’s been in some classics, such as Hitchcock’s Rear Window, The Man Who Knew too Much and Vertigo, George Cukor’s comedy classic The Philadelphia Story and Capra’s very own It’s a Wonderful Life, but this overly long, preachy, one-sided pile of propaganda is not one of them.

I scrolled through six IMDB pages of 8 to 10 star reviews before I found this two star review from an IMDB user named “lutheranchick”, who writes:

This film is a study of a Good Guy, who wants funding to start a national boys’ camp for the “Boy Rangers”, going against the Bad Guys, who want to build a dam on the same land only for their own selfish interests (not hydro-electricity or anything, you fool). You may ask why taxpayers would want to pay for a camp only a few of the nation’s boys could live near; you may ask why the camp couldn’t be built on a different piece of land; you may ask why a private organization should get federal funds; you may ask if there were any issues that constituents would have found more pressing. Well, apparently that’s because you’re one of the Bad Guys too.

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

5.) Bamboozled (2000)

I really despise Spike Lee and his race baiting bullshit.  As much as I enjoyed Do the Right Thing, I DO NOT feel that Mooky “did the right thing” by throwing a garbage can into the window of the pizza shop, and neither do several of my otherwise, sympathetic liberal friends who will run mental gymnastics to rationalize how “that’s not what Spike Lee meant.”  Sorry kiddos, Spike done think you haven’t self-flagellated enough.

Bamboozled is basically a loose remake of the 1976 Sidney Lumet classic, Network, only it’s loaded with old-timey, black racial stereotypes.  This is apparently to send a message that not much has changed and blacks “iz still enslaved to the white man” (well, actually Jewish man according to Spike Lee, but now he’s relegated to saying “white” instead of “Jewish” because we taught him what’s what when he complained about how Jews control Hollywood… only 61% of Hollywood, sheesh).  I actually like old-timey looking stuff, such as old toys, post-cards and cartoons, that have stereotypes of blacks and Asians, not to mention old Nazi propaganda with the hook nosed, Jewish ogre guy, so I guess I got the wrong message out of the movie.

4.) Every white teacher in an inner city school movie ever except for The Principal

Whether it’s Blackboard Jungle from 1955 or Dangerous Minds from 1995, the story is the same.  A white teacher/principal/superintendent from the suburbs comes to an inner city school and learns that, for this bunch, education is the last thing on their minds.  At first the teacher is cynical because, gosh darn it, these kids JUST can’t be taught!  But, through patience and teaching things on their level, in a way they understand, we can turn around this depressing situation.

Of course, in all of these, there will be the bad apple who just can’t be reformed because these movies have to have an ounce of realism.  That’s why the only teacher movie I like is The Principal with Jim Belushi, where the bad kid is played by Michael Wright, who was later in the HBO prison show Oz and he’s REALLY bad.  He ties a kid to a rope by his feet and drops him through the glass ceiling.  Someone that homicidal can’t be reformed.

3.) American History X (1998)

I read somewhere that Edward Norton slammed in the pits of the early ’80s D.C. hardcore scene.  So, it’s not surprising that, just like Ian McKaye turned the hardcore scene into a humorless, PC cesspool, Edward Norton allegedly imposed his vision onto director Tony Kaye, or at least that’s what I’ve read.  I don’t know if, without Norton’s meddling, American History X would have been as good as the far superior Romper Stomper; it’s for damn sure not nearly as fun as Graydon Clark’s 1989 film, Skinheads: The Second Coming of Hate.  The point is a lot of people really like American History X.  The typical defenses for the movie are that it’s “powerful” and “bold” and “the performances are good.”  Well, yeah, Norton and Edward Furlong do a good job.  But at what?  A guy I went to college with named Kip told me that the movie “tricks you into being racist.”  What he meant was that, during the scene where the skinheads challenge the thugs at basketball, they dramatically pump up the music when Norton’s character takes the winning shot in order to make you feel like you’re rooting for him.  Wow, you’re racist now.

Basically the movie is a litmus test to see if you were duped by this stupid ass after school special.  Typical story, kid’s dad is murdered by blacks, becomes leader of neo-Nazi group, meets good black guy in prison, realizes not all blacks are bad – he was given six years in prison for dropping a TV during a robbery?  Why WAS he committing a robbery?  Yeeeahhhh – and then is no longer racist.  Of course the movie’s “big” scene is when Edward Norton curb-stomps someone who is trying to steal his car.  The car thief is black, Norton is white and has a big ol’ swastika tattooed on his chest, so, because he’s a mean, ol’ racist, Norton stomped the guy’s head into a curb.   Did Mr. Dindu-Thuggalicious deserve to have his head stomped into a curb?  No, of course not.  A couple bullets to the chest would have sufficed, as they would for the thugs in Detroit who twice stole my car.

2.) Schindler’s List (1993)

Am I so callous as to deny the world’s most successful filmmaker of all time, Steven Spielberg, his props for making such wickedly awesome films as Duel, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind or Raiders of the Lost Ark?  No, that would be foolish.  Those are great films in the action/horror/science fiction genres.  Hell, I even enjoyed Amistad solely for the violent opening scene where the slaves have the revolt and kill a bunch of people.  Spielberg, for all his child pandering bullshit, will put R worth violence on the screen.  Hell, the heart ripping scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was cause enough for the invention of the PG-13 rating.  Actually that makes me wonder if there is a conspiracy; rather than have his audience diminished by an R-rating, Spielberg gets a whole new, not quite R-rating invented for him?

Anyway, somewhere along the line, Spielberg decided to do the Holocaust in three acts.  Filmed in gorgeous black and white – and with a gorgeous set of bouncy tits somewhere in the middle of the movie –  with all of the movie’s budget clearly on the screen, Spielberg tells the tale of how Oscar Schindler (Liam Neeson), the Nazi with a soul, saved 200 Jews from the gas chambers.  Schindler’s foil is Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), the evil, scary, “mwahahahaha”, Jew-killin’ super villain.  Stanley Kubrick complained that the movie focuses on the 200 Jews who were saved and not the 6,000,000 who were killed, but I think the real problem with the movie is that it’s basically a typical three act adventure story with every single Holocaust trope driven into your face for three obnoxious hours before it has an emotional orgasm of “I COULD HAVE SAVED MORE JEWS!!! I’M NOT AS GOOD AS I THOUGHT I WAS!!!  THIS IS THE PART OF THE MOVIE WHERE EVERYONE IS SUPPOSED TO HOLD EACH OTHER AND CRY!!!”  Of course, every tear jerking, white guilt fest needs to have its “crux” moment and, just like American History X had its curb stomping, Schindler’s List had the little girl wearing the red coat atop a pile of dead bodies.  That way you know, with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY, that the Nazis weren’t just bad; they were REALLY bad!

1.) Higher Learning (1995)

John Singleton started out okay with the 1991, “you killed mah BABY!!!”, ghetto drama, Boyz n the Hood, then followed with Poetic Justice, which I haven’t seen, but there’s a reason why Singleton was eventually forced to direct crap like 2 Fast 2 Furious or the Shaft remake, and I believe the problem starts with Higher Learning.  Basically Higher Learning is like a Spike Lee film for retards.  Like Lee’s films, it has a whole bunch of characters doing a bunch of stuff and then it somehow comes together in the end.  Unlike Lee’s films, the characters are one-dimensional caricatures, whose plot trajectories leave one with the basic conclusion that “whity iz the devil.”  I mean, Lee’s films do the same, but they, at least, seem deeper.

Higher Learning takes place at a university, hence the clever title, but all that is learned is that Ice Cube is an asshole, which is okay, because he’s black, and he bullies Michael Rapaport, who, after banging a Kristy Swanson, who cries “rape” in the middle of sex and then becomes a lesbian at the guidance of Jennifer Connelly, turns into a neo-Nazi at the guidance of Cole Hauser, and goes on a shooting spree at the end.  Omar Epps, Tyra Banks, Jason Wiles, Laurence Fishburn, Busta Rhymes and Adam Goldberg round out the cast.

The thugs beat up the Nazis of course, because blacks are the heroes and whites are not only the villains, but also don’t have enough “street” to know how to REALLY fight.  Adam Goldberg has a gun pointed in his face and jumps around and whimpers because Jews are pussies.  The other white guy, Jason Wiles isn’t bad, but he’s naive of the black situation, just like every well-meaning white guy.  And Tyra Banks gets shot at the end because someone needed to get shot by the evil, gun-toting neo-Nazi, so why not make it her?



The Undertaker and His Pals (1966)

You just never know.  You watch enough of these and you stumble across a real gem, a movie so funny yet so odd and surreal that it transcends the genre it ostensibly was aiming for.  By all accounts The Undertaker and His Pals could easily be passed over as nothing more than a Herschell Gordon Lewis-style splatter-fest without so much as a thought to technique, script or craft other just getting through the story and showing some onscreen gore but you’d have to be a fool not to see the brilliance of The Undertaker and His Pals.

To be sure The Undertaker and His Pals is undoubtedly a completely miniscule budget affair but, unlike Gordon’s films, everything that the movie doesn’t have is used in its favor.  Bad acting, cheap effects, corny dialogue and predictable and ludicrous plot devices are deliberately played for laughs – but, then again, if you weren’t expecting to laugh at a movie called The Undertaker and His Pals, then you are probably too serious for your own good.  And something that’s often overlooked in these types of films is that the direction from one time director T.L.P. Swicegood (who wrote the script as well) is good!  You cannot say that about an H.G. Lewis picture!

The “plot” is a mish-mash of events that includes three homicidal, machete wielding bikers, a shady undertaker who overcharges on funeral costs, a local diner which serves “leg of lam”, a series of gruesome murders, some cannibalism, a stereotypical private dick who tries to solve the murders, a hot femme fatale named Friday and her equally hot, twin sister, Thursday.  There’s absolutely no reason to further talk about the plot since it’s merely just a frame for a series of ridiculous events, visual gags and slapstick humor.  Some of these are funny; some not so much.  The undertaker tripping on the skateboard was pretty lame (maybe that’s what they were going for) but the site of closeup of the sailor’s photograph, which changes during the murder of a young woman is quite funny.

It’s clear the entire thing is played tongue in cheek like say, A Bucket of Blood or The Little Shop of Horrors but, unlike those films, this one gets as grizzly as say Blood Feast, 2,000 Maniacs or Color Me Blood Red.  There is a machete to the face, scalpel through a forehead, severed limbs, a man dipped into acid, a body disposed of via meat grinder and, grossest of all, a “surgery” sequence in the back of the diner in which we’re treated to an actual closeup of medical, surgery footage to create the “effect.”  Well, it was pretty effective to say the least.

Unfortunately I can’t really say much about who is in the movie because the credits don’t link characters to the actor names except for the super hot Warrene Ott who played Friday and her twin sister Thursday and played some minor roles in some Hollywood sex comedies, James Westmoreland, who played the private dick was in a few TV shows and in the 1980 slasher Don’t Answer the Phone and, unsurprisingly Ray Dannis, who played the Undertaker, also played similarly creepy roles in Al Adamson’s awesome The Corpse Grinders and Tom Alderman’s The Severed Arm.  I also liked the wicked, jazzy score.

And now for the greatest orange soda commercial of all time.

Scream Baby Scream (1969)

My grade of three out of four iron crosses can’t be trusted, so don’t get mad at me if you google searched Scream Baby Scream on my recommendation and end up hating it and me (though you probably already do), and then look up my address to try to kill me because you thought I endorsed the movie because I’m telling you right now that it’s a shitty movie.

From the start, it’s clear that this ain’t no high budget affair and that we’re dealing in H.G. Lewis territory.  The direction is only slightly better than an H.G. Lewis film but the lighting is so piss poor, you’re gonna be looking at a black screen for seconds at a time and these aren’t transitions.  Also the two main characters are completely unlikeable, with the male one constantly having a pissy attitude about everything (i.e. “what babe, you’re dancing?  Congrats on being a piece of shit!”) and his girlfriend being a narcissistic, art snob who exemplifies the cliched “free spirit” of the time when she’s just another hussy looking for cheap kicks.  Furthermore the dialogue scenes go on interminably making one (such as me) forget I was even watching a horror movie in the first place.  Oh, and the gore makeup looked like shit.

So, you’re probably wondering what the hell was good about it?  Well, nothing.  I kid, I kid!  In my estimation, the way the movie wrapped up and the shock ending made the movie worthwhile for me even if I found most of it annoying or frustrating.

The main plot concerns a weirdo going around disfiguring people as inspiration for his twisted art.  It’s pretty obvious who is doing the deed, but the result is actually kinda creepy even if the effect comes off as totally cheap.  Also the supposedly sophisticated, European artist doing the killing sounds like the killer in Blood Feast, so that should clue you on the level of acting you’re dealing with.  The two main characters are art students, and they have two other friends who are also a couple, and the group goes around to hippie clubs, drops acid and watches a psychedelic band play.  There’s also a fun acid trip sequence that takes place at a zoo, so that’s another plus, and I liked the mansion setting at the end as well.

Oh and I should mention the zombies.  Yes there are zombies.  Their makeup is really poor and they barely do anything worth noting.

Screenwriter Larry Cohen would go onto write It’s Alive and Q: The Winged Serpent.  I have the worst taste in movies.


The Deadly Bees (1966)

Hey!  That’s a pretty good rendering of Suzanna Leigh, the movie’s lead character!  For my second installment in the two part series of non-Hammer films that were directed by Hammer directors, here’s a pretty lame but occasionally fun thriller called The Deadly Bees.  To be honest there’s really nothing to complain about since the movie delivers exactly what it promised; it’s just that, ya know, deadly bees aren’t exactly the most exciting form of screen danger and, when you direct the movie like you would any other Hammer horror film, that is by trying to build up suspense and not just have a constant flow of action or violence, you tend to turn your movie into a snoozer.

The movie also tries to be really hip and modern, opening up with a sequence at a TV studio where we see a completely pointless and wasted performance from the Birds (not the Byrds), a wicked R&B, mod rock group who had Ronnie Wood before he was in the Creation and the Stones.  The focus switches to Vicki Robbins (Leigh) a popular singer, who passes out on camera due to exhaustion (surely not from drugs!) and, as a result, gets carted off to some island (actually an obvious “small village” set with a painted backdrop) to stay with some assholish, bee-obsessed professor guy.

As you would expect, things start to go wrong when bees start attacking people (and the family dog).  But who’s bees are they?  The assholish guy who is mean to his wife and flirts with the local barmaid or is it the very friendly but somewhat suspicious other scientist?  Oh the mystery was killing me!  Actually it wasn’t at all.  I really didn’t care.

If anything I was actually kind of frustrated by the lead character.  Half the time she’s acting like a super sleuth, constantly snooping around, putting on the thoughtful face every time she found something and half the time she acted like a complete moron.  Ya know: book smarts vs. street smarts, I guess.  “Hey, I’m gonna kill you with my bees, hahahah!!!”, “oh, then I better just stand here gawking at you and not run even though you’re giving me ample opportunity to get away!!!”

And now, here’s Joi Lansing singing “Web of Love”!

The Earth Dies Screaming (1964)

How can you go wrong with a film that’s a mash-up of The Day the World Ended, Panic in Your Zero! and The Last Man on Earth and crams it all into 62 non-boring minutes?  If you get bored at something like that, then you need to take your ADD medicine more often.  The Earth Dies Screaming is great and it’s directed by Terence Fisher yet it isn’t a Hammer film!  How’s about that, eh?

Just to prove to you that this movie isn’t full of shit, the movie just begins with everyone dying!  Planes fall from the sky, trains crash and people just like totally drop dead within in the opening sequence!  You know from the get-go that something ain’t right!

But, because a film needs characters, some people inexplicably survived and, as you might have expected per your viewing similar films such as the above mentioned and, of course, Night of the Living Dead, a bunch of strangers meet by happenstance and have to both fend off the bad guys and deal with each other.

And, as you might have also guessed, the characters are all archetypical.  You’ve got the sensible leader guy, the double crossing guy who you never quite trusted, a wimpy guy (who, in this case drinks a lot), the wimpy guy’s wife, another woman who is okay, a younger guy and his girlfriend and an adult couple who are about to have a kid.  All of them meet up at a house and basically just try to figure out how to defend themselves against the radiation shooting, killer robots who stalk the village streets.  But here’s the crazy thing; if you’re looking for another source from which Night of the Living Dead riffs from, look no further than the zombies which eventually also become part of the problem.

So yes, The Earth Dies Screaming has killer robots and zombies!  And guess who created the zombies!!!  Give up?!  THE KILLER ROBOTS!!! HAHAHHAA, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!  Considering it was released in 1964, don’t expect any real gore but there is action and people getting shot and killed in other ways.  Given the movie’s short run-time and quick pace, the solution to the problem – at least in their tiny village – seems a little too easy to come by but, hey, whatever.  The outer space, radio controller thingy that was controlling the robots couldn’t have anticipated the humans would be smart enough to knock down a tower, could they?  Oh, was that a spoiler?  Sorry.

The Asphyx (1973)

Congratulations William Castle on directing a Hammer film!  What’s that you say?  The Asphyx isn’t a Hammer film?  William Castle already directed a Hammer film called The Old Dark House?  Well, umm, let me explain the joke.  The Asphyx looks, sounds and smells like a Hammer film even if it was released by some other studio and the concept of the movie is so gosh darned ridiculous and silly, that it rivals The Tingler.  You still don’t get it because you haven’t seen The Tingler?!

The premise of that ridiculous movie is that, when you get freaked out, you can isolate a creepy, crab-bug type creature called your “tingler” that grows on your spine and can have it physically removed and I guess watch it crawl around for no particular reason.  Sound pretty stupid, right?  Well, your “asphyx” (or Slimer from Ghostbusters) is essentially your soul, which apparently can be removed, isolated and trapped in a box and, as long as it stays in said box, you remain immortal.  Once it’s set free, you die.

The fact that I bought into the ridiculous premise is telling considering I gave the movie a grade of three out of four.  And I would have given it a perfect score because, as the movie progressed, the story got more and more absurd yet totally enjoyable.  But, sadly, they fucked up so badly that I had to drop it by a single grade.  See, if your soul is captured and you’re 27 years old, then you don’t grow any older than 27.  You don’t get younger either but you definitely don’t get older.  As a result of this rule being established in the film, I couldn’t get past the major continuity gap which manifests itself in the epilogue, where we see the main character as a really, really old man, see.

The plot of the film concerns a scientist named Sir Hugo Cunningham (Robert Stephens), who makes no bones about using the Dickensian-level, impoverished people for his twisted experiments where he lets them die and, as they die, he captures their “asphyx” in a box – which makes me thing the creators of Ghostbusters might have borrowed the capturing ghost concept, not to mention that the “asphyx” looks like Slimer – in an attempt to immortalize them;  apparently having your soul torn from your body is extremely painful as one person took to throwing acid at the doctor while he attempted to remove this “asphyx.”  A few other things happen along the way, such as the romance between the adopted Giles Cunningham (Robert Powell) and desired bride to be and daughter of Sir Hugo, Christina Cunningham (Jane Lapotaire).

Unsurprisingly, as the story progresses, Sir Hugo gets progressively more insane; going from well-meaning oddball to crazy nutjob, leading to one of the most, “woa, WTF moments” I’ve seen in a long time involving a guillotine and the doctor’s daughter.  “Don’t worry honey, it’ll work out just fine.”  And, given the concept of the movie, it SHOULD have buuuut….

As I mentioned, the movie looks and feels like a Hammer film; from the gothic, old fashioned laboratory set pieces to the hilariously hammy acting but damn if I wasn’t entertained by the whole thing.  Again, great movie with one annoying continuity gap.

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

What a frustrating movie!  I don’t know if it was just poor editing or a poor script but, for whatever reason, Murders in the Rue Morgue unintentionally ends up being like a Luis Bunuel or David Lynch film!  I love both of those directors but, if I wanted a film that makes it unclear if the entire thing is a dream not, I’d watch The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.

In 1971 it had been seven years since American International pictures had released a film that was named after but bore little resemblance to an Edgar Allen Poe story.  Not only does Murders in the Rue Morgue not have an actual gorilla in it – it has a man in a gorilla costume and that part is pretty cool, which I’ll explain momentarily – but it doesn’t even have a morgue in it!  The “Rue Morgue” in question is actually a theater!  Who the hell would name their theater The Rue Morgue?

What’s weird is that nobody in their netflix or IMDB reviews mentions or makes a strong point about how damn confusing this movie is, almost as if they chose to ignore this aspect of the film.  Ostensibly the film takes place in 19th century France and is just about how this crazy guy named Rene Marot (Herbert Lom), who wears a mask that covers up his acid-disfigured face, goes around killing and pouring acid on people who are associated with Cesar Charon (Jason Robards), the head of the Rue Morgue theater.  All the while Charon’s wife Madeleine (Christine Kaufmann) keeps getting into a sleepy, dreamy state that most likely recalls past events which she probably blocked out but serve as a missing piece to the mystery as to why Marot keeps killing and pouring acid on people.

The problem I had and the reason I started the review so negatively is because every time Madeleine goes in a dream state, the film never returns to her non-dream state in a clear way.  Or rather, we never actually get to see the return to the real world!  It all starts happening early in the movie; Madeleine is on stage, performing a part in a stage play and, as she’s being tied up, she goes into a dreaming fit where she sees a rope dropping and the Herbert Lom character falling and then will wake up in bed.  At first I excused it but then it happens again with no clear point of return to the real world!  And, I guess, what are supposedly important plot points happen before, during and after the dream sequences start!  So what gives?  Is this ALL happening in her head?  I watched until the end for some sort of closure but NOPE!  The end revealed nothing!  In fact it seemed like it was just arbitrarily tacked on just for the movie to seem even weirder.

So why such a high grade for a movie I’m essentially trashing?  The devil is in the details and the details me likes a lot!  First of all, the opening scene is a hoot!  I may be spoiling it by revealing it but it’s close to the beginning so whatevs, it’s cool.  Basically it starts with a very typical movie scene of an escaped ape going crazy, trashing stuff, rebelling against its master, carrying off the girl, etc. and I thought, “my howdy do, that gorilla outfit looks extremely fake and did these editors not notice that you can see the actor’s human neck every time he swings his head upwards?  Maybe I’d expect this from the 1932 Murders in the Rue Morgue but certainly not from this!”  Then they reveal the said action is on a stage and I thought, “oh my!  You guys got me!”

There are more neat scenes like that which re-create what it must have been watching a horrific stage play, where it’s clear the wooden board with spikes on it is clearly fake but the audience who hadn’t been jaded seem legitimately shocked by the onstage events of torture and grue.  Then of course it’s even more shocking when something actually goes wrong, like when Herbert Lom’s character accidentally gets real acid thrown in his face and they have to stop the performance.

There are also some righteously debauched scenes of old-timey partying with them naughty burlesque women, wooo!  Jason Robards, who is supposedly a level headed and caring husband commits a no-no with the super hot whore played by Maria Perschy.  But the problem is is that act of moral indiscretion becomes somehwat meaningless since it wasn’t clear if it actually happened or if it was part of the dream thingy.

Oh, and if you’re into old-fashioned looking carnivals, this movie has tons of that stuff along with great performances from top notch actors and really sick looking burn makeup.  In other words, if you’re looking for an entertaining film of individual scenes and other cool stuff then go for it but if you’re looking for a movie that isn’t a complete mess and you need to have some closure at the end, then avoid this movie at all costs!

Horrors of Spider Island (1960)


I’m way too lenient on these, aren’t I?  Horrors of Spider Island (a.k.a. It’s Hot in Paradise a.k.a. Body in the Web a.k.a. A Corpse Hangs in the Web) really is a piece of shit and it’s fitting that the only company that gave the movie a VHS/DVD release was Something Weird.

According to IMDB:

“First released in the United States in 1962, as an Adults-Only movie titled It’s Hot in Paradise. Three years later, trimmed of its nude scenes, it was re-released in the U.S. as a horror/sci-fi monster film, Horrors of Spider Island.

So really Horrors of Spider Island is just a nudie-cutie flick no different from Monster at Camp Sunshine or The Beast That Killed Women only with one tiny, little problem.  THERE WERE NO FUCKING NUDE SCENES!!!  I don’t know why Something Weird released the film without the nude scenes since that seems to be their raison d’etre; to release shitty, boring nudie flicks whose only saving grace is the nudity!  But they did and what we’re left with is another snoozer that begins promisingly but soon degenerates into a series of boring sub-plots and drama that nobody cares about and make the movie seem interminable in spite of its relatively short length of 76 minutes.

The movie begins in someone’s office with a bunch of hot dancers auditioning to be part of a dance troupe and go to Singapore (or somewhere like that, I forgot) to dance.  Instead their plane crash lands and the ladies and the guy in charge of watching them end up marooned on a tropical island where a giant spider turns people into killer spider people.  Only problem is that barely happens at all.

Again it starts off promising when the ladies walk into a cabin and see a dead man in a spider’s web; an obviously freaky site (or at least it’s supposed to be if I didn’t know it was fake and the spider web was just some rope).  Then the guy who was in charge of the girls goes wandering, gets bit by a spider and turns into an honestly cool looking spider monster.  This looked like it was leading somewhere.

But, unfortunately, when your movie is just an edited down nudie flick, you can only expect the rest of the scenes to be nothing but obnoxious filler and the music to be cabaret/burlesque rather than horror movie music.  And so it goes… the rest of the film involves two sailors who stumble on the island and engage the women with their tomfoolery; one of them is suave and charming and goes after one girl after another while the other guy is just like a normal guy looking for a special gal.  There’s also a bit of sexy cat fighting and some skinny dipping.  But aside from those scenes, the film turned into one of the most uninteresting soap operas until, finally, the spider monster starts killing again, resulting in one other death – and that wasn’t even from the monster, it was from the girl jumping off the cliff trying to escape!

One last point of interest is that, during the scene when the plane takes a dive, the filmmaker or whoever was so lazy and lacking in imagination that he didn’t even try to create the inside of an airplane when showing closeups of the girls screaming.  He could have taken a couple of car seats and put them next to a window and at least tried to make it look like the shot was from inside a plane. Instead he just uses two extreme closeups of the ladies with a black, nothing background.  Truly amazing.

Cat-Women of the Moon (1953)


Pear-shaped girls in leotards running around on a sound stage that’s decorated with fake rocks and with an obviously painted space background and you expect me to not like Cat-Women of the Moon?  Apparently someone thought this concept was so good that it was remade shortly after as Missile to the Moon and to some extent as Queen of Outer Space.  Clearly the film is the product of someone’s fetishistic mind set because otherwise, how can you explain a plot in which a bunch of sex starved humanoid women want to keep a bunch of men captive on their abode even if the men are middle aged and overweight?

What also saves this schlock-fest from turning into a suck-fest is something that many producers, writers and directors seem to have forgotten in the years following the drive in, quickie science fiction film.  You ready?  IT’S SHORT!!!  When your plot is paper thin and the only things holding it together are some mediocre actors and some neat visuals – both the hot women and the neat set designs – it doesn’t hurt that the movie is only 64 minutes long!

It’s also fitting that I watched Cat-Women of the Moon on what I guess was Star Wars day because it shows where my radar is at.  I cannot stand Star Wars and its overly earnest, adventure, science fantasy bullshit but a movie like Cat-Women on the Moon or the other hundred or so science fiction films from the 50s and 60s that I’ve seen will do nicely, thank you!

The movie gets going right away as we see a space crew consisting of four nondescript, middle aged male astronauts and their cute as heck female partner Helen (b movie starlet Marie Windsor) sitting in a neat looking, rocket ship control room, blasting off to the moon for some reason which I forgot.  When they get there, they’re confronted with not one but TWO spider puppets that hang from the ceiling on strings!  After a bit of wandering around the sound stage, they encounter a temple or palace with an underground civilization of said leotard wearing nymphos and that pretty much covers it.

Oh there’s some romance, some intrigue and even some fighting amongst a couple of the male members of the crew because this was the 50s and men fought over women but otherwise, there really isn’t all that much else to say about Cat-Women of the Moon except some of the main “cat-women” have names like “Alpha” and “Beta” and one of the crew members shoots a couple of them dead with his gun.  That’s right, his gun, which he took with him to outer space “just in case.”